watering

I read that vegetables are 70% water and therefore they should be watered well. I also read that it is better to soak than water less in small intervls.
We have 2 raised 360 degree spray sprinkler heads that are about 3 feet hight and spray a constant 360 degree pattern. They are not the oscillating or shooting kind of heads. They were set by the sprinkler guy to go on for 15 minutes every morning at around 5:00. I changed it to 25 minutes every day because by 2:00PM everything looked so dry. I have mulch down and the soil has top soil, soil and red clay. I am on Long Island (in NY)
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Watering daily..? Bob Thompson of Victory Garden fame recommends 1 inch water per week. Of course, you'll want to adjust that for current conditions.
Just FYI.
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I've seen 1 inch per week but what does that mean in terms of sprinklers? If you water for 25 minutes, is that 1 inch?

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wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

If you don't own a rain gage (or even if you do) you can place one or two tin cans in the area covered by the sprinklers. When you have collected an inch of water in the cans, that's about right. Tuna cans would be good but taller cans are fine too. Maybe press them into the ground a little so they stay upright.
Steve
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Great idea and I'm going to pull the tuna can out of the garbage.
For three days up to yesterday, I watered everyday for 25 minutes. The soil always seemed moist. I did not water this morning and by now, 4:00 PM, EST it looks very dry but if you dig down, it's a little cool and damp. Should it totally dry out before you water again?
The area where my garden is, is sloped higher in the back and lower in the front with a 5 to 7% grading. Underneath the topsoil there is some soil, clay, rocks and roots.
Our gardener was here today and told me not to water every day but today it's a hot day and I should water with the hose for a while.
Everything looks very healthy. The tomato plants have thick green stems and I see some yellow flowers beginning to bloom. The Zuchinnis are growing very well ( a little too well) The plum tomato plants I recently bought are showing yellow leaves on their lower brnches but the bigger tomato plants look as healthy as horses.
Some of the cumcumber plants seem to not be doing well at all. I have a feeling the chipmunks or birds are breaking them down. They smell like cucumbers and some are fine. I just planed them about 10 days ago.

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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com writes:

I would think that only if your soil was almost pure sand would it be necessary to water every day. Both tomatoes and zucchini will wilt when they are getting dry, so I suggest that you try watering only every second day but keep an eye on the toms and zucchinis and only water them on the non-watering day if they seem to go lifeless in the midday sun. Too much water will encourage rot. Make sure you don't wet the leaves of either of these plants, or their lives will be shortened by mildew. Put the hose down close to the soil and dribble water into the soil that way.

Moisture retention is governed by the amount of humus you have in the soil, and you improve this by mulching. Try spreading dry grass or leaves or cow manure over the surface of the soil around the plants but not in contact with their stem, and this will keep the soil moisture in.

If he said that regarding established plants, he's almost certainly right. But in midsummer, it might be necessary to water newly planted seedlings up to 3 or 4 times per day. Shade them with shadecloth, or cut bracken or something to protect them from the summer sun for a week or so.

They do do that!

Cucumbers will eventually succumb to mildew; don't hasten their end by allowing any water to wet the leaves when you water.
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

The books I have recommend 1" per week rain + watering if needed, up to 1 1/2" per week when the plants are fruiting.
I think you would be much better off watering once or twice a week for the total amount. The water would soak in deeper and not evaporate so fast. We mulch with grass clipping and do not have to add water very often.
--
Susan N.

"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, 48 percent indignation,
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I have potted tomatoes and peppers as well as ones in the ground. I have been watering them every day. Is this bad then. Could this be why I have less fruits coming out. I put in about maybe 1/2 - 1 cm of water I guess each watering
wrote:

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You need the water at the root level. And you want your plants to develop deep roots. Plants in pots may need to be watered every day. My soil is heavy clay and retains water for a long time. If your soil is very sandy, you may need to water more often. Stick your finger into the soil near the plant. If it feels damp, not sopping wet, when you insert your index finger to about the 2nd knuckle, you are fine. If not put about an inch of water on them.
--
Susan N.

"Moral indignation is in most cases two percent moral, 48 percent indignation,
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Lightly watering plants in containers every day is OK as long as it maintains a constant moisture level thoughout the pot that's not too wet. Planting mixtures rich in peat are more apt to get soggy than mediums high in shredded bark, so as usual, the best answer to your question is, 'it depends.'
There's nothing like a moisture meter to remove the guess work, but the low-tech, no-cost 'dry to the second knuckle' method also works well.
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